There are several interesting challenges with living in the ME. Some stuff are really interesting and some thing I would describe with a whole other set of adjectives. It all comes with the expat package. Getting used to sand everywhere is one thing and learning how to be extremely spontaneous is another one. When I tell people that we plan our vacations depending on the moon they usually don’t believe me but this is actually the reality.
After several years in the Middle East region I have learnt that the moon is my friend and that I have to patiently wait for him to show his face in a way that remind me of the beginning of a date night with my husband. Will he be ready to come out today? Or will it be tomorrow? Will he be full or half? Thankfully my husband always shows up in full.
Most planning looks like above. Doesn’t matter if it’s corporate or a school, you won’t know your holidays until a few days before. And you thought it was difficult to plan vacation every year? Try booking a trip over the Eid celebration (holidays after Ramadan) which is usually three days, when you don’t know when they will fall exactly. You might be lucky and you have booked your flight perfectly on the day you are off (the moon is on your side) but if you are not, you better hope you have vacation days left and that your boss will approve them.
The holidays are announced publicly online a day or two before they are suppose to start depending on the lunar sighting.